- Stupendous views on a fine day, south to Mt Taranaki, the Herangi Range and Pureora.
- Local harbours, Pirongia, Maungatautari and Te Aroha mountains
- The Mt Karioi track is very challenging as it is very steep the entire time (note there is backdoor to the panoramic views)
Mt Karioi Track
- Time to lookout: 2 hr 30 min – 3 hr one way
- Time to summit: 3 hr – 3 hr 30 min one way
This is the steeper but more scenic of the two summit tracks.
Once over the stile at the start of the track, it’s all up hill, but there are plenty of good vantage points to stop, catch your breath and admire the view. After passing through a grove of kānuka, the track climbs up a grassy slope before reaching the main ridge. Chains and ladders have been installed to help negotiate the occasional rocky outcrop. At a large rocky bluff the track sidles around to the north for a short distance then climbs steadily to the ridge. At this point, a short 10-minute side track takes you to a lookout providing good views across Raglan Harbour.
Back on the main track it is another hour to the summit (756 m) along an undulating ridge. The vegetation along the ridge has been sculpted by the strong prevailing westerly wind. The forest changes from kohekohe at lower altitudes to tawa forest, to kamahi and tāwheowheo towards the top. Other species of note include miro, toro, horopito and Dracophyllum traversii.
For tips on recommended clothing and supplies check North Island ultimate day walks, what to wear, supplies and fitness required. Remember to check the local weather report before departing.
Getting there: Start this track at Te Toto Gorge, 13 km from Raglan. Note, the last 4 km of Whaanga Road are unsealed.
Wairake Track (BACKDOOR ROUTE TO THE MT KARIORI SUMMIT)
- Time: 2 – 3 hr one way
This is the shortest route to the summit and isn’t as steep as sections of the Karioi Track. It doesn’t have the same views. It’s a 40-min walk across private farmland to the bush edge. Respect the access privilege which is only available during daylight hours. From the bush edge, the track climbs steadily through coastal forest, comprising kohekohe, māhoe, rewarewa, kamahi and a variety of ferns and shrubs, to the summit.
Karioi summit tracks source Department of Conservation.